Media fingers wrong ‘Man of Steel’ character in Jesus analogy

June 15, 2013

Unless you’ve been living on Krypton lately, you’re probably aware that the latest Superman film, “Man of Steel,” has hit theaters. And over the last few days, it seems like every entertainment reporter has jumped on the “Superman is an allegory for Jesus” band wagon while seemingly convinced they’ve uncovered some brand new interpretation to the world’s first superhero (Also see: here and here among others).

Their argument goes something like this. Superman sacrifices himself for humanity at the age of 33. Jesus sacrifices himself for humanity at the age of 33. Superman has god-like powers. Jesus has god-like powers. And there certainly are several other not so subtle visual cues sprinkled throughout the film. So I guess it’s case closed, right? If only these reporters had more hands on which to pat themselves on the back in a way that could properly express the level of their self-satisfaction!

Unfortunately, like a poor marksman, they missed their target. They fingered the wrong Jesus! (Writer’s note: that last sentence was not intended to sound as dirty as it did.). Let’s take a closer look at both these fictional characters and see if they really do have as much in common as I keep hearing.

1. Mission – Superman’s mission in “Man of Steel” (here on out referred to as MOS) is to protect the Earth and the human race from total destruction. According to the Bible, Jesus’ mission is to end the world.

According to Genesis 6, god already tried to exterminate humanity once before with a flood. The Bible clearly explains that The Second Coming of Christ will bring about a final solution commonly referred to as the “End of Days” or “Final Judgment,” where both the still living…and obviously the resurrected dead, will face God’s judgment. Even self-proclaimed Christians will be judged (Matthew 7:21-232 Corinthians 5:10). Those righteous will be granted eternal life while the wicked will…also be granted eternal life, only they’ll be tortured during all that eternity (Matthew 5:29-3025:31-46Mark 9:43-48). So really, since everyone’s getting an eternal life regardless of their behavior, the righteous get nothing…except freedom from senseless torture. Cause god so loved the world…yada, yada, yada. According to the apostle Paul:

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (NIV, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10)

So part of Jesus’ mission is to make everyone submit to him…you know, kneel before God. But mostly it’s to end the world. Not exactly the same thing Superman’s after.

2. Response to adversity – Though Superman is willing to kill if absolutely necessary to protect humanity, he really kinda doesn’t wanna. In fact, it’s a pretty big deal with him. Not only does Superman avoid killing whenever possible, there are numerous examples in MOS where Superman restrains himself from so much as throwing a single punch even when individuals flagrantly harass him and those around him. Even when harassers taunt him to fight back while pushing him seemingly almost to his breaking point. Superman doesn’t even throw a punch. And it of course would be so easy for him to do so. He wouldn’t even have to ball his fist. A simple flick of his finger could sever a man’s head from his body. And yet, even at his angriest, Superman chooses not to fight back.

Jesus, not so much. According to the Bible, eating shrimp warrants the death penalty (Leviticus 11:10). Lot’s wife is transformed into salt for committing the crime of turning her head (Genesis 19:6). God floods the Earth simply because humans and angels started sleeping together (Genesis 6:1-6). God says disobedient children should be stoned to death (Deut. 21:18-21). God thinks all ten of The Ten Commandments are punishable by death. Hell, god sends down bears to murder 42 kids whose only crime was making fun of a bald man (2 Kings 2:23-24). One would have a hard time thinking up an offense god wouldn’t think warranted death. And then of course the fun doesn’t end with death. God also thinks that all sinners should then be tortured for eternity. Eat shrimp; eternal torture. Own any possessions at all; eternal torture. Hardly very Superman-like, if you ask me.

3. Sacrifice – In MOS, Superman willingly surrenders to his adversary, Zod, knowing full well it could likely lead to his own death. Superman so loved the world that he was willing to sacrifice his one and only life to protect them. If Superman believed in any kind of afterlife, there’s no indication in the film.  This is it for him. Superman literally puts everything on the line. So that we can live and the Earth will be safe. Jesus on the other hand, does not dramatically come out of hiding to turn himself in to his adversaries. He is arrested, tried, convicted, and executed against his will (well, except for his whole being part of the very god that made it all happen in the first place). Then Jesus sacrifices his mortality in order to return to being master of the universe. Talk about your first world problems. Am I right? Hold your horses, Mel Gibson. I know. I know. it was a really painful weekend. Tell that to all the Filipinos who actually willingly go out of their way to be crucified every Easter without the reward of becoming the most powerful god in all the Biblical pantheon at the end. Some sacrifice! Hey Jesus, next time let me take your place. I’ll happily trade my mortality to become a living god for the price of one shitty weekend.

4. Writers’ lack of subtlety – Not much rhymes with Superman. Buperman. Duperman. Blooperman. But you know what rhymes with God? I’ll give you a hint. Like Jesus, he too wants to end the world. Like Jesus, he too believes in killing his adversaries. Like Jesus, he too was tried, convicted, and sentenced to what was expected to be a certain death for the actions he took trying to save his people.


Face of Jesus appears in the least likely place

August 3, 2011

A few months ago, I teased that I’d been working on a skeptically-themed short film project I’d written that I promised I’d post here. Well, it’s finally online for all to see:

I also recently finished directing another short with a slight skeptical bent to it for a 72-hour film festival (the entire film was produced from conception to post-production in 72 hours). That film is in serious running for the top prize at the festival and will go online shortly after the night of the festival in a few weeks. So I plan to post that video here as well when I can.

And if you can share this video, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Biggest threat to Christianity: Everything

July 20, 2011

Though it’s nothing new to hear Christians decrying anything they personally don’t like as destroying their religion, lately I’ve come across a number of funny examples…

Such as Harry Potter, according to Christian media scholar Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission.

“The final chapter to the Harry Potter stories, like the books, contains some surprisingly overt Christian allegorical elements,” Baehr admits, “but the movie version slightly changes the final confrontation between the hero and the villain to make it even more like a spectacular magical showdown between two sorcerers.”

Baehr, a theologian and Bible scholar, pointed out that the God of the Bible strongly condemns witchcraft and sorcery as evil and loathsome in Deuteronomy 18:10-13. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ affirms all of God’s law in Matthew 5:17 and other passages.

What’s more, Baehr adds, God commands people not to speak to or consult dead people, yet that is exactly what happens in the final Harry Potter movie. And yet another problem with the movie, Baehr says, is a line of dialogue suggesting that people who deserve it will be rewarded.

“This goes against Christian teaching. The Bible says that everyone has fallen short of the glory of God and that Jesus Christ died for our sins even though all people are undeserving, evil sinners,” Baehr says.

…because apparently their all-powerful god is no match for J.K. Rowling.

Though, at least from a literary standpoint, that’s undeniable. One author has written a series of books with actual coherent plots and fully developed, identifiable characters with timeless themes relevant to its audience while the other author has penned one book (more or less) that is completely incoherent, self-contradictory, featuring paper-thin, two-dimensional characters, and almost no themes relevant to the lives of anyone living in the modern world. Hmm, tough one.

But Harry Potter isn’t the only one destroying Christianity. Christian “scholar” (applying the most liberal use of that word possible) Josh McDowell has finger the internet as the greatest threat to Christianity. Fortunately, this revelation reached me in time to change my wicked, internet-using ways… thanks to the internet:

The Internet has given atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the people who like to destroy everything that you and I believe, the almost equal access to your kids as your youth pastor and you have… whether you like it or not.

Damn you, Al Gore! Don’t you know Jesus is powerless against porn, cynical nerds bitching about everything, and social networking sites?!

When asked for a response, word has it that Jesus startled his cat while pounding his metal fist on his desk while screaming, “I’ll get you next time, gadget!”

But did you know that Christians are by far the most persecuted minority in the United States today…far more than blacks, women, Hispanics, gays, atheists, and Gungans? Don’t believe me; Dr. Carol Swain says “Christians are the only ones under cease”, so it MUST be true:

So to clarify, this is a Christian nation one minute and the next it’s just a nation full of people who just pretend to be Christian. Wow, reality can just change on a dime, huh. But I have a dream, that one day Christians will be accepted in our society and even be capable of being elected president. I know. It sounds far-fetched, but I have high hopes.

Oh, and if you need further proof that Harry Potter is making baby Jesus cry, just look at this:

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 5.4.11

May 4, 2011

1. Mark Geier is stripped of his medical license – For those who don’t know, Mark Geier and his son David have been “treating” autistic children with chemical castration for several years now. As far as I’m concerned, that puts them pretty much write behind Osama bin Laden on the list of worst human beings alive. Oh, that’s right. Osama’s dead. That might possibly bump father and son Geier up to worst people on Earth. So I’m delighted to hear that the Maryland medical board decided to strip Mark Geier of his medical license. You can see the official 48-page decision in .pdf format here. Also, Orac chimes in on the news here.

2. Robots learn to share -This article is deceptively more about the evolution of altruism than robots, but still pretty interesting and worth the read:

Using simple robots to simulate genetic evolution over hundreds of generations, Swiss scientists provide quantitative proof of kin selection and shed light on one of the most enduring puzzles in biology: Why do most social animals, including humans, go out of their way to help each other? In the online, open access journal PLoS Biology, EPFL robotics professor Dario Floreano teams up with University of Lausanne biologist Laurent Keller to weigh in on the oft-debated question of the evolution of altruism genes.

3. Acupuncture needle found in former South Korean president’s lung

Former South Korean president Roh Tae-woo was admitted to hospital with a bad cough and ended up on the operating table to remove an acupuncture needle from his right lung.

So let’s look at the cost/benefit ratio. Acupuncture has no benefit, and it can possibly kill you.

“I can’t figure out how the needle got into there,” Dr Sung Myung-whun was quoted as telling reporters at the hospital after the operation. “It is a mystery for me, too.”

Call me crazy, but I suspect the needle “got into there” while you were callously jabbing them into the man’s body. Just a thought. How appropriate that “woo” is in the ex-president’s name. I think comedian Dmitri Martin had the best response to acupuncture.

4. The illusion of being watched can make you a better person – We’re already well past the final nail in the coffin of the Christian view of morality, but here’s just another interesting incite into human behavior. Not only do we tend to act more morally when being watched, but we even do so when we see posters of staring eyes.

5. Facebook finally answers age-old question of who’d win in a fight: Jesus or Batman?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dialogue with a madman

April 27, 2011

As the countdown to Harold Camping and Family Radio’s excuses for incorrectly predicting The Rapture gets closer to the zero hour, one of my earlier posts about it has gotten a lot of traffic. And with a lot of traffic inevitably comes a flood of comments from people who represent a segment of the population that is so deluded that it’s a wonder they’re able to dress themselves.

Such is the case with BJ, a commenter who in a pre-internet age would no doubt be standing on street corners wearing a sandwich board. The following is an exchange I’ve been having in the comments section of the article linked to above:

BJ: Concerning the rapture:The Bible says in Matthew 24 that the coming of the Lord will be as in the days of Noah, they were eating, drinking,marrying until the day that Noah entered the ark.The flood came and took the unbelievers away.It wasn’t we believers that were taken, it was the sinners.Yes, Noah was protected in the ark but he was still around when everyone else was gone.Do you still want to be raptured? I may be wrong,but I just want to be with JESUS!!!!!!!

Me: You left out the part about the angels fucking people and creating a race of giants (Gen. 6:1-6).

BJ: I didn’t forget about the FALLEN angels. They were the reason for the flood.They were disobedient.God destroyed them.

Me: And yet the inclusion of a literal race of giants doesn’t seem to affect the plausibility of the story in your eyes…which speaks volumes. On a related note, I’ve got some magic beans to sell you.

BJ: Hey,It doesn’t matter whether the giants are literal or catagorical.If they are catagorical,it means they stand for something larger than we are,but if they are literal,it sure explains a lot of things such as who built the Pyramids?I believe in God,and I believe his word,and if you don’t then I don’t see any use in this discussion.As for the magic beans,keep them you need them more than me.

Me: It matters for the story to actually make any kind of sense. Then again, even a literal race of giants doesn’t in any way justify genocide to anyone other than a sociopath. Further, giants don’t explain the pyramids, which were built by ordinary-sized humans.

BJ: First of all,to argue about giants,literal or not is in itself senseless.It just causes arguments and derision.furthermore,I have no idea what the Nephilim of Genesis and genocide have to do with anything.and as far as the pyramids are concerned,there’so way an ordidary person could have made anything that big with stones that size with the knowledge and tools that they had.These giants were the offspring of fallen angels and humans,but once again,if you don’t believe the bible,this will mean nothing to you.

Me: Well, yes, until someone can actually present a literal giant (which is the sole reason the Bible gives for the flood), it’s a pointless discussion. Though the fact that the Bible makes repeated references to literal giants, literal dragons, literal witches, and literal unicorns speaks volumes about the level of reliability one ought to ascribe to it given that all of these are entirely mythical creatures. Of course all of this avoids the real issue addressed in this article, which is the claim that the biblical Rapture is at hand. And if it is, then whether we argue or not makes no difference anyway.

Now with regards to the pyramids, there’s no mystery. We know precisely how the pyramids were almost certainly built and many have sufficiently demonstrated that it can be done using the same simple tools that were available to the Egyptians at the time: levers, pulleys, and raw man power. Your personal incredulity does not define the possible or the impossible. The fact is that they had both the means and inclination to build the pyramids, they did so, and they did not suffer the same failure of imagination as you. Though I do find it curious that you regard human beings simply collaborating on a building project hard to believe and yet the notions of a race of giants constructing a building with doorways too small for them to enter and a magical deity with infinite power sound perfectly plausible to you…especially when Genesis itself describes a far more ambitious human building project during the same era.

And lastly, if your criteria for persuasion requires the person to already believe the very thing you’re trying to persuade them to believe, your time would be better spent chasing your own tail because that’s circular reasoning.

BJ: once again, all this stuff does’t matter.I’m not trying to to persuade anyone to believe me.I don’t care if you believe me or not.I belive in God and his son Jesus and his word[the Bible]and that’s all there is to it.It’s been very enlightening talking to you,I will be praying for you,but I don’t see any point in continuing to converse.I stand on everything that I previously said.I pray that God will forgive you, for you know not what you do.Oh, before I forget,try reading the New Testament for a change,it just might be enlightening to you.

Me: Thanks but I know exactly what I do. Though if you insist on praying for me, I’ll masturbate for you and we’ll call it even. And while I appreciate the condescension, I’ve read the Christian Bible several times, which is a large factor in why I’m an atheist. Now isn’t it about time you read the whole thing from beginning to end too?

BJ: Atheists always make me smile.All you are doing is fullfilling prophesy.You don’t believe in God because it’s easier not to.God will always make a way for you and other sceptics to scientifically explain everything.why? Because he gave us free will,and he wants us to come to him willingly.It all centers around FAITH.You’re taking the easy way out and fullfilling prophesy at the same time.I don’t know when the end is coming,but I do know that it is.God is taking his time because he doesn’t want anyone to perish.He’s doing it for you dude.It’s easy not to believe in God.If there is no God,then I’ve lost nothing,BUT,if there is a God and I chose not to believe in him,then I’ve lost eternal life in paradise.Not worth the risk to me.I’m a believer.You think I’m weak? It’s when you are weak,that he makes you strong.You think I’m using him because I need a crutch and only weak people need a crutch right?You are probably right,but by leaning on him,I WILL NOT FALL!!!!!! Go ahead, make fun of me if you must,but I’m a believer and that’s all there is to it.Go ahead keep being an atheist,keep fullfilling prophesy, and I’ll just continue to smile.God is merciful,and he’ll never turn anyone away.

Me: “All you are doing is fullfilling prophesy.”
Then we must be doing a really bad job because 1900 years later, prophecy has yet to be fulfilled.

“You don’t believe in God because it’s easier not to.”
No, I don’t believe in your tribal god for the same reason you don’t believe in anyone else’s tribal gods, lack of evidence.

“God will always make a way for you and other sceptics to scientifically explain everything.why?”
Such a god who would deliberately fool people to lure them into a trap where they’ll be tormented for all eternity seems like a pretty sadistic deity.

“Because he gave us free will,and he wants us to come to him willingly.”
I don’t think you know what the phrase “free will” means. If I tell you to obey me or else I’ll fucking blow your brains out, that is not “free will.” That is called a threat. Fortunately I’m unimpressed by threats from non-existent entities with no ability to follow through.

“It all centers around FAITH.”
In that case, I have something to tell you. I am Jesus. SURPRISE! Now before you object, remember now. It all centers around FAITH.

“You’re taking the easy way out and fullfilling prophesy at the same time.”
According to you, my actions lead to an eternity of suffering regardless of whether or not I’m a good person simply because I didn’t suck up to god the mob boss. Some “easy way out.”

“I don’t know when the end is coming,but I do know that it is.”
The word “know” is utterly meaningless if such alleged knowledge cannot be demonstrated. You, like the millions before you, BELIEVE it will happen; you don’t KNOW it.

“God is taking his time because he doesn’t want anyone to perish.”
Too late. OOPS. If that’s his goal, according to your religion, he’s already failed. So why follow a failure of a god when you can follow Zeus instead? Now that’s a god who knows how to get things done.

“He’s doing it for you dude.”
No, according to you, your tribal god literally designed a system meant to fool me into an eternity of punishment with that evil science, which would in turn lead to my eternity of suffering, another condition that your tribal god set up. These are not the actions of a loving deity who’s “doing it for me.” These are the actions of a cruel sadist who wants to maximize suffering and get brain dead lackeys who will actually try to rationalize it as a just system. In which case, I reject any god who would inflict pain and suffering for its own pleasure.

“It’s easy not to believe in God.”
That’s the first honest thing you’ve said. It’s every bit as easy as not believing in Santa Claus.

“If there is no God,then I’ve lost nothing,”
Except that you’ve wasted your one and only existence on terrorizing others and making their one and only lives miserable. You must be very proud.

“BUT,if there is a God and I chose not to believe in him,then I’ve lost eternal life in paradise.”
Belief isn’t a choice. You either do or you don’t. You must not think very highly of your god if you think you can fool it into thinking you believe in it even when your every instinct tells you it doesn’t, requiring you to have to go out of your way to “choose” to believe in it. The amazing thing is that no such conscious effort is required for believing things that exist. Nobody “chooses” to believe in hammers. If you don’t, you can just go to a hardware store and see one for yourself. When things exist, they leave copious amounts of evidence demonstrating their existence. It’s usually only ever the non-existent things that leave no evidence of existence.

As for this paradise thing, if you really believe in it, why do you work so hard to avoid it? Why lock your doors at night or look both ways when crossing the street? Why see a doctor when your sick or injured? Why grieve when loved ones die if they just went to paradise? Why live your life like someone who doesn’t believe you go to paradise when you die?

“You think I’m weak?”
No, I think you’re delusional.

“You think I’m using him because I need a crutch and only weak people need a crutch right?”
Nope. You really are a fountain of invented knowledge, aren’t you.

“But by leaning on him,I WILL NOT FALL!”
But you’ve already fallen…for the oldest trick in the book.

“Go ahead keep being an atheist,”
I’m more than willing to change my mind if presented with sufficient evidence. Are you?

“Keep fullfilling prophesy”
Or you know, not fulfilling prophesy as the case seems to be. A world that hasn’t ended hardly seems like a fulfilling of a prophesy that says the world will end. Kinda jumpin’ the gun there, chief.

“and I’ll just continue to smile.”
So when faced with the belief that billions and billions of people will suffer for all eternity because they were tricked by your god into not believing because your god deliberately created a world that made it, according to you, easy to doubt said god’s existence, your response is to smile?? So you think the perfect moral system punishes otherwise good people simply because they were deceived into not kissing your god’s ass and rewards psychotic lunatics who enjoy endless human suffering. Sounds lovely. If that’s your heaven, I prefer the hell. Better company.

BJ: Well I’m so glad that you prefer hell,because the rate you’re going, you’ll be there before long.You can’t get to heaven on good works.Being a good person won’t do it.You’ve got to believe that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.This is where faith comes in.If you need proof,you’ll never have faith,because proof is the opposite of faith.Every negative word that comes out of your mouth is fullfilling prophesy,and it is only by the grace of God that you are not consumed.As far as billions of good people going to hell.Salvation is a free gift.It’s available to everyone,but if you reject it,then you have rejected your only hope.Don’t blame God,it’s your own fault,yet,he is patiently waiting for you to give him a chance.Always ready to forgive you,and always offering salvation to anyone who believes in him. FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH;BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.ROMANS 6:23 Too bad you don’t believe.

Me: Well, no. As I’ve already told you, I am Jesus. I’m sorry you lack the necessary faith to accept that. But don’t worry. I’m not as sadistic as you’d falsely claim me to be, so I won’t send you to hell. Of course, you better hope I, Jesus, am the one true god and that you happened to grow up in the right part of the world at the right time. If you’d grown up in Afghanistan, you’d be just as certain that the Koran was the true word of god. But if Islam does turn out to be the real true religion, we’ll both be roasting for all eternity.

What a crazy system you’ve invented though, where morality is worthless and the only the most sycophantic robots are rewarded, regardless of their behavior, where Hitler goes to heaven but his Jewish victims must suffer a whole other Holocaust involving an eternity of suffering, where the mere absence of torture by a celestial tyrannical mob boss is seen as a gift and where the thought of good people needlessly suffering makes you giddy. And that you would have the audacity to claim that anyone who doesn’t applies the critical thinking skills they were born with and doesn’t believe, or who even dares to object to this celestial dictatorship actually deserves being tortured for all eternity disgusts me. You are like an abused child who is determined to believe that you deserved it for misbehaving.

But let’s just say for the sake of argument that your bullshit view is accurate. If as you yourself say, god is “always ready to forgive,” why not just wait until after I’m dead and then turn into the mindless drone you’ve become after seeing hell for myself? Remember now. God is “always ready to forgive.”

Now I’ve about run out of patience with you so I will no longer allow comments from you and politely tell you to go fuck yourself!

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 4.21.11

April 22, 2011
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

1. Andrew Wakefield, the new Jesus? – I’ve often argued that the anti-vaccine movement worships Andrew Wakefield like a religious prophet, but now J.B. Handley has said as much to the NY Times:

“To our community, Andrew Wakefield is Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ rolled up into one,” says J. B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, a group that disputes vaccine safety. “He’s a symbol of how all of us feel.”

2. Studies suggest atheist OUT Campaign works

Although prejudice is typically positively related to relative outgroup size, four studies found converging evidence that perceived atheist prevalence reduces anti-atheist prejudice. Study 1 demonstrated that anti-atheist prejudice among religious believers is reduced in countries in which atheists are especially prevalent. Study 2 demonstrated that perceived atheist prevalence is negatively associated with anti-atheist prejudice. Study 3 demonstrated a causal relationship: Reminders of atheist prevalence reduced explicit distrust of atheists. These results appeared distinct from intergroup contact effects. Study 4 demonstrated that prevalence information decreased implicit atheist distrust. The latter two experiments provide the first evidence that mere prevalence information can reduce prejudice against any outgroup. These findings offer insights about anti-atheist prejudice, a poorly understood phenomenon. Furthermore, they suggest both novel directions for future prejudice research and potential interventions that could reduce a variety of prejudices.

3. GM mosquitoes to fight malaria – Scientists believe they’re getting close to being able to modify wild mosquito DNA as a weapon against malaria…using evolution:

In the laboratory, they made a gene spread from a handful of mosquitoes to most of the population in just a few generations, according to a report in Nature.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 4.20.11

April 20, 2011

1. Siberian YouTube alien is a hoax – This week a YouTube video has been making the rounds that seems to show the discovery of a dead space alien in the ice. Of course, as it turns out, the tiny “dead alien” is just skin from chicken filled with bread that was painted in “alien colors,” whatever that is.

2. Dilbert’s evolution-denying creator caught using sock accounts – Many people don’t know this but Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoons, doesn’t believe in evolution. What you might also not know is that he often defends himself against critics online under the anonymous account, PlannedChaos in order to give the illusion of impartiality. And when his dishonesty was caught, his excuse was that since it hardly even registers when compared with the worst immoral behavior imaginable that that somehow makes his actions acceptable. PZ Myers offers this hilarious response:

Great. So if ever I’m caught kicking a puppy or lying on the internet, all I need to do is explain that I didn’t kill six million Jews, so you can all forgive me.

Myers perfectly demonstrates what a pathetic argument that is and how it can be used to justify literally anything.

Exhibit A:

3. Jesus loves Kit Kat viral video – Whenever I hear a pareidolia-themed news story about people seeing the face of Jesus in some random object, I love to post about it. Hell, I’m even making a short film mocking the phenomenon. And last year, when a video emerged showing people who allegedly found Jesus’ face in a Kit Kat bar, I probably reported it. But it turns out that it was a Poe, a deliberate hoax that was indistinguishable from a genuine news story. In actuality, it was an experiment to see if they could get the video to go viral.

On a related note…

4. Canadian-Israeli director Simcha Jacobovici claims to have found the nails that crucified Jesus – How does he know? Well, they’re really old. What more proof do you nned?

5. Mitchell and Webb bring us Holistic ER – The group that has given us Homeopathic A&E, also has another video mocking holistic medicine of all kinds.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 1.4.11

January 4, 2011

1. Pakistani governor slain for opposing blasphemy laws – The governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was shot dead by his own bodyguard because he was an outspoken critic of religious extremists and called for the end of the death penalty for the crime of blasphemy.

2. Jesus infects hundreds with sexually transmitted disease – Hundreds of New Yorkers may have been exposed to hepatitis A when they attended Christmas Day services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in Long Island while receiving communion. Individuals exposed to the disease should receive vaccination within two weeks of exposure. Made up authorities are still unsure if this is connected to the non-existent Muslims who got gonorrhea from Mohammed.

3. Vaccine against cocaine high successful in mice

“Our very dramatic data shows that we can protect against the effects of , and we think this approach could be very promising in fighting addiction in humans,” says the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of at Weill Cornell Medical College.

He says the antibody produced in lab mice by the binds to, and sequesters, cocaine molecules before the drug reached the brains of these animals — and prevents any cocaine-related hyperactivity. The vaccine effect lasted for at least 13 weeks, the longest time point evaluated.

4. Power Balance admit fraud – The manufacturers of PowerBalance were forced to admit to the Australian media that there is no scientific evidence supporting their claims that their bracelets improve strength, balance, and flexibility.


5. Romania passes bill requiring witches to pay taxes

“witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by labor law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax”

Meanwhile, in Ghana…

6. Ghana continues to burn ‘witches’ alive

Elderly women are used as scapegoats for all ills in large parts of Ghanaian society – leading to exile, and sometimes murder

Six people are currently appearing before a magistrate at Tema, near Accra, for allegedly burning a 72-year-old woman to death, in the belief that she was a witch.

In both cases, anyone with the slightest knowledge of dementia would recognise symptoms of the disease from the accounts given of the behaviour of the women. They were where they were not supposed to be, and when they were asked what they were doing there, they could not explain themselves. This is because dementia sometimes robs its victims of the ability to speak coherently.

It is absolutely insane that this is still going on in the 21st century.

7. Earth-like planet said to have 100% chance of life? – That’s the claim being made about Gliese 581g. But given the lack of fanfare and the number of times we’ve heard this kind of claim before,I think I’ll wait to hear what more experts say before accepting this “100 percent” figure without any actual evidence at all to justify it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.2.10

December 2, 2010
Hubble Illuminates Cluster of Diverse Galaxies...

Image via Wikipedia

1. The universe is larger than we thought – How much larger? At least three times larger, according to new research that shows elliptical galaxies contain five to ten times more stars than we thought. I’d imagine that this would significantly impact the Drake Equation that attempts to estimate the likely amount of extraterrestrial civilizations exist. It certainly makes the gods of human religions seem much, much smaller if they’re main concern is for one particular bipedal life form on a pale, blue dot in the middle of nowhere in the universe.

2. Anne Hathoway discusses why she left the Catholic Church – She’s not an atheist but Hathoway does go into more detail about her feelings towards the Catholic Church and her family’s decision to each independently leave the Church.

3. The End is Near…again – The Christian radio network, Family Radio Inc. is predicting that The Rapture will occur on exactly May 21, 2011 (apparently in honor of Star Wars) despite the Bible specifically stating that no one would be able to predict the time or the hour Jesus would return. But that isn’t stopping Family Radio from putting up a billboard announcing it. I think people should better them every dollar their staff owns that the world will not end on that date, to be paid in full on May 22, 2011. If they’re so certain, what do they have to lose?  Right?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Crucifixion goes electric

September 5, 2010

Yup, that’s right it’s time for another example of Jesus-inspired pareidolia. So where’s Jesus turning up now? On a power line pole:

I just thought this would be a great occasion to once again point people over to my hilarious (if I do say so myself) parody of this phenomenon over at The Gotham Skeptic.

Enhanced by Zemanta